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Pain Management

Severe Upper Body Pain

12/08/2008

Question:

For almost a year now I have been experiencing debilitating pain in my chest, upper back, arms, hands, throat & now head. These pains appear to occur around or during my menstrual cycle. I have had every test known to mankind, (including heart), & my doctor & specialists are baffled. In this series of tests, I am scheduled to see a muscle/nerve specialist. NO medication will relieve the pain, & it can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. I am not a stranger to excruciating pain having broke my back several years ago leaving me with two steel rods either side of my spine, but this pain is unlike any other I've ever experienced. As previously mentioned, not only is it debilitating, but it immediately exhausts me & I have to lie down in an attempt to sleep it off; not always convenient when I work full-time. It is ruining my life as I can`t make plans to go away for any length of time in the event this pain comes on; I can`t even go for walks anymore as it gets so bad when I exert myself. Have you heard of anything like this occurring in anyone else? Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer:

It looks like you may have advanced musculoskeletal deconditioning due to complicated nature of your surgical procedure. I advise you to try the TENS units and also see an advanced interventional pain physicians to go over some of the options. Important advice-- stay away from narcotics as much as you can.

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Response by:

Hammam  Akbik, MD, FIPP Hammam Akbik, MD, FIPP
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati